Monday, July 25, 2016

"Only at the edge of chaos can complex systems flourish"

The Lost World book

I just finished re-reading Michael Crichton's The Lost World (1995), which is apparently becoming something of a yearly tradition. Inspired my role as a content and social media writer at Jurassic Cast and of course 2018's impending release of Jurassic World 2 Ancient Futures, I'm going through anything and everything Jurassic Park possible. As you may or may not know, after Jurassic Park brought dinosaurs back to life in 1993, director Steven Spielberg urged Crichton to pen a sequel, which he ultimately did within two years. As soon as the book was published, Spielberg started making The Lost World: Jurassic Park. The sequel was released in 1997. 

The skinny

Turns out Ian Malcolm isn't dead. Six years after the disaster at Jurassic Park, everybody's favorite chaos theorist goes looking for paleontologist Richard Levine, who had hastily embarked on an expedition to Site B on Isla Sorna  to search for a lost world of dinosaurs. With a rescue team consisting of engineer Jack Thorne, his assistant Eddie Carr, Dr. Sarah Harding and Levine's students Arby Benton and Kelly Curtis, Malcolm heads to the Costa Rican island with weapons and a conjoined pair of RV trailers to look for his lost friend. Simultaneously, another group, consisting of Lewis Dodgson, Howard King and celebrity biologist Baselton, learns of the expedition and goes to Isla Sorna with plans to steal dinosaur eggs for Biosyn

The review

Boy, I almost forgot how preachy Ian Malcolm was in this sequel. The chaotician is front and center in The Lost World, using the opportunity to go on at length about evolution, Darwin's theory, social teaching and the perils of cloning. The book is also a lot thinner, content-wise, than I remembered it to be. Sure, there's a lot of tension and thrill, but there's very little build-up, which is a big part of what made Jurassic Park so great. Besides Ian Malcolm, Isla Sorna, the T-Rexes and the cliff scene with the twin trailers, TLW, the book is entirely different from TLW, the movie. It sucks that the chameleon-like Carnotaurus wasn't in the movie, because they had a pretty awesome scene in the book.

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